Namak Halal is a Bollywood comedy from 1982, famous for some grand silliness by the biggest star of the day, Amitabh Bachchan and a load of fun disco-influenced songs scored by the larger than life Bappi Lahiri.
Young Arjun (Amitabh Bachchan) is brought up by his Daddu (Om Prakash). His Daddu decides for him to go to the city in search of a new job and life. Arjun reluctantly agrees, and re-locates to Bombay. While in the city he meets up with Bhairon (Ram P. Sethi) who guides him into finding a job as a servant in a 5-star hotel owned by Raja (Shashi Kapoor). While in the hotel, Arjun meets Poonam (Smita Patil) and falls in love with her. He also looks up to Savitridevi who manages the hotel, until he finds out that Savitridevi is his biological mother, and that Raja believes that she is involved in a plot to kill him. During this time, many attempts are made to kill Raja by the one and only Girdar Singh (Satyendra Kapoor) and his son Ranjeet (Ranjeet). All these attempts are thwarted by Arjun. Will he be able to save Raja from these attacks?
Here is a scene of Arjun presenting himself for an interview at the hotel in which he tries to impress the boss with his English language skills.
Of interest to the Washerman’s Dog is the music which is early Bollywood disco. The soundtrack was scored by one Bappi Lahiri the man who single handedly discofied Bombay films in the late 70s /early 80s.
Bappi Lahiri was born in Calcutta, West Bengal in 1952 into a family with a rich tradition in classical music. His father, Aparesh Lahiri was a famous Bengali singer and his mother, Bansari Lahiri was a musician and a singer who was well-versed in classical music and Shyama Sangeet. His parents trained him in every aspect of music. He was their only child. At a very early age, he had the ambition to become famous, not only nationally, but internationally. He began to play the tabla at the tender age of three.
Bappa Lahiri has inherited his father’s keen sense of music and joined the Hindi film industry as a music director. Bappi has his own unmatched personal style. He is the perfect blend of East and West, and his wardrobe ranges from the traditional Indian kurta and sherwani to the western sweatshirts and blazers. He is fond of wearing pieces of jewelry that represent significant symbols in his life. Bappi is famous throughout India for his trademark gold ornaments and sunglasses. Bappi began his career as a music director at the young age of 19. He received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1972) and the first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973). The film which established him in Bollywood was Tahir Husain's Hindi film, Zakhmee (1975), for which he composed music and doubled as a playback singer.
Bappi rose from strength to strength, and the music for his subsequent films were tremendously popular, placing him on the pedestal of stardom, making him the youngest music director of his time to have attained such intense success in such a short duration. Bappi Lahiri was the pioneer of disco beats in India and his refreshing, vibrant, and rhythmic music had the entire nation dancing for decades. Bappi Lahiri is widely recognized throughout India as the sole originator of the disco beat in India. He is widely known as the "Disco King" in India, even today.
Bappi Lahiri was the most popular music director in the 1980s due to his famous compositions for films such as Disco Dancer, which have left a lasting imprint in the minds of all those who heard the music. Bappi is famous for his constant desire to reinvent himself and face the challenge to keep up with the rapidly changing preferences of current generations. He is the complete entertainer and superstar with his multiple talents as a singer, music director, and percussionist!
Bappi Lahiri has been known to work with the singing legends of the Hindi music industry. He has been known to sing duets with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. He has also worked with renowned singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Vijay Benedict and Sharon Prabhakar were launched into the Bollywood music industry by Bappi. He also paved the path to fame for Alisha Chinai and Usha Uthup through his compositions. Over the decades and through years of well deserved fame and accolades, Bappi Lahiri remains the undisputed Disco King of India, and one of the most amiable celebrities in the Hindi film industry today. (http://www.bappilahiri.com/)
This soundtrack contains excellent upbeat Bollywood music including two iconic tracks of the 80s:
· Thodisi Jo Pee Lee Hai (This little Bit that I’ve Drunk) one of the great ‘drunkard’ songs of the era.
· Jawani Jan e Man, a ripping disco number by Asha Bhosle which opens with a very eerie Glenn-Close-psycho-woman “I want to kill you” phone call!
Lahiri’s instrumentation is imaginative with some great guitar solos and at one point a wailing soprano sax that would not be out of place on a Thelma Houston album
A fantastic set of songs for a party or just passing time at the office when you’re supposed to be working!
1. Pag Ghunghroo Baandh
2. Raat Baaqi Baat Baaqi
3. Aaj Rapat Jaayen To
4. Thodisi Jo Pee Lee Hai
5. Jawani Jan-E-Man